[Seoul] At the basement of Lotte Department Store Myeong-Dong is a Le Castella shop, where queues can go to as long as an hour.
All for a huge piece of soft, fluffy sponge cake.
A Castella is a popular Japanese sponge cake made of sugar, flour, eggs, and starch syrup. Le Castella 樂古早味蛋糕 originated from Taiwan though, and has created its version of jiggly blocks of cake with cheese added in between.
The Castella Cake comes in three flavours – original, cheese and chocolate.
A Cheese Castella cost 7,000 Won (SGD$8.60) which is considered reasonable in price for the size given. (In Taiwan, the price is 110TWD, SGD$6.40.)
Here’s the ‘fun’ part: While standing in line, you can watch the entire process where the cake is baked freshly in-house. Every batch is prepared, baked and sliced in front of your eyes. With precision, done with a long ruler.
The thing is, if the person in front of you got the last piece, you have to wait for a new batch to be baked all over again. That takes time, and is not so fun anymore.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting so big a piece. At 23cm x 13cm, this can be cut into 8 – 10 pieces, possibly to be shared by the entire family or department in office. I took a slice, and was about done.
As no preservatives were used, customers were recommended to consume this within the day.
What I liked best was the hot steam that was released as you take that first cut.
The texture was indeed pillow-soft, fluffy yet moist at the same time; taste delicate and eggy. But of course, apparently, 58 eggs (according to the Insider Video) are added into a single batch.
I would recommend the cheese option that added a layer of savouriness. Wished there was more cheese though.
So good news for Singapore.
Le Castella has arrived to Singapore, and location is at the basement of at Tampines 1.
Pricing is $9.90 for the original, $11.90 for the cheese, and $14 for the chocolate. (Unfortunately, the chocolate was not in sight when we visited.) Compared to the branch in Seoul, the cakes here are prepared closed-door in the kitchen, which really takes half the fun away. Le Castella (Tampines)
Le Castella Seoul
Lotte Department Store Basement, 30, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
Le Castella Singapore
Tampines One, 10 Tampines Central 1, #B1-32, Singapore 529536
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)